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TOPIC: air india contract


India: 470 Airplanes And The New Power Of Non-Alignment

After not buying any aircraft for 17 years, Air India has announced the largest order in the history of aviation. It's a symbol of India's new standing in the world, its ambitions and the role it has as a model for other non-aligned nations


PARIS — Air India, the national carrier of India, had not ordered a new plane for 17 years. Then on Tuesday, the airline announced what we can call the 'contract of the century': 470 planes at once, the largest order in the history of aviation. 250 Airbus, and 220 Boeings, for the Indian national company privatized last year that clearly has enormous ambitions.

For the occasion, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in video conference, first with French President Emmanuel Macron, then with Joe Biden.

This type of spectacular announcement was to be expected from China or the Gulf States a few years ago. India was the poor cousin of the emerging world, blessed with immense talents, but with major obstacles to actually breaking through on the world stage.

Has this idea now been consigned to the past?

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